Young people are in support of dropping the age requirement for a house lot from 21 to 18 years. However, they recognise that in doing so, the government would face immediate challenges.
Minister within the Ministry of Communities, Valerie Adams- Patterson addressing the gathering at the consultation
At a public consultation in Georgetown on whether the age should move from 21 to 18, persons said it would help young people to be more responsible. They however, noted other challenges in securing a house lot including, high interest rates.
Thomas Griffith, who was at the consultation, agreed with the motion to have young adults own their house lots at age 18. “I think that young people of this generation have great responsibility at the age of 18. I think we’ve come to a place of maturity because of how society is so I think we are capable of owning our own property,” Griffith said.
A teacher, Shabaza Douglas said that giving young people the opportunity to own their home would help make them accountable. “I think changing the policy from 21 to 18 is a great initiative since young people can do so many things like making certain choices at 18 so why not make a positive choice of owning your own home and it also gives you a sense of feeling responsible,”
Some of the participants at the consultation
Suanna Swan, a medical student at the University of Guyana noted that while the initiative is timely and would be beneficial to young people, other factors should be taken into consideration. “We have to consider how the young people would be able to afford the cost of the home. At the banks the interest rates are very high and this would be difficult for young people,” Swan said.
Other participants spoke of the difficulty that would be existent when the age moves from 21 to 18 years since the demand would be greater. Some also spoke about reducing the price for lands.
Consultations on the issue have been on going in a number of regions with Minister within the Ministry of Communities, Valerie Patterson. The minister has noted that at the age of 18, a person is considered an adult and allowed to vote, get married, and own a vehicle.
Minister Adams-Patterson explained that her Ministry is considering housing units in the form of apartments, duplexes and condominiums at affordable prices and the consultations will help in deciding on the way forward.